Does the “Happily Ever After” exist?

27 Apr 2011

Short of living on the moon, there are no excuses for not knowing that, here in the UK, we have a Royal Wedding coming up.

And, if you’re female,  you have a pulse, and you have a romantic bone – or even a little romantic cartilage – in your body, it’s probably got you thinking…

Will Wills and Kate have a fairytale wedding?


Will they have the fairytale “Happily Ever After”?

Who knows?  Being “public property” surely won’t make it any easier.

But enough about them, let’s think, instead, about YOU.

Romance probably exerts a powerful pull over you.

Many things in your life taught you to desire the Happily Ever After.  Yet, nobody ever taught you how to create it.

So, here’s a very quick rule of thumb:

The thing most likely to guarantee Happily Ever After is…

Happiness NOW.

And, before you say: “That’s blindingly obvious, Annie.  I would have thought you could do a little better than that,” let me point out that

spotting the blindingly obvious can be a very slow process.

(I can’t speak for you.  But it certainly was for me.  Human beings tend to fixate on their romantic dreams and aspirations rather than the person in front of them.)

Aren’t every couple happy on their wedding day?

Er… no.  ‘Fraid not.

Quite a lot are marrying on the promise of a deferred “Happily Ever After”, which may be theirs one day.

There are those – usually female – who want their wedding day to be The Best Day of Their Lives.  This seemingly innocent little desire conceals the toxic assumption that from hereon in things will be anywhere along the downhill  continuum from Less Than Wonderful to, well, Awful.

Then there is the category of “I’ll-be-happy-when-ers”.  They say things like:

“I’ll be happy when we’re married/when we have a baby/ when we have more money etc. etc.”

And there is the category of “I’ll-be-happy-if-ers”, who say: “I’ll be happy if my partner can just learn to…”  These are the Partner-Tweakers, who just want to “improve” the less than perfect partner they signed up for.

They could object to their man’s drinking, or drug taking – hardly unreasonable – or table manners, leering at other women, personal hygiene, or one of a thousand things.

But here’s the thing: they are objecting to “design flaws” they already knew about.

A friend of mine is a very good seamstress.  Not uncommonly, women come to her with a wedding dress they’ve bought.  They bought it because there was something they liked about it.  But they want it “nipped in here, and let out there, and sleeves added (or removed), even the fishtail train transformed…”

In short, when they saw the dress there was something they liked about it.  But, instead of looking longer and further until they found a dress that met their criteria and matched their taste, they decided to remodel a dress they chanced upon into their dream gown.

Strange to say, most partners don’t relish being subjected to an involuntary makeover.

And then there is the category of “I-need-a-partner-to-be-happy-ers”.

They confuse happiness with reproduction.

It does, still, require one male and one female for human reproduction to occur. But humans don’t actually need someone else to make them happy.

Yes, it’s exceedingly nice to share happiness with one another person – or, better yet, many others – but the fact remains

Happiness is an inside job

Having the capacity to be happy now is probably THE BEST indicator of happiness later.

Being happy because you experience happiness as your default state suggests a healthy capacity for happiness.

Taking that capacity for happiness into a relationship – and sharing it in the relationship with another person who has a proven capacity for happiness – offers the best guarantee of living happily ever after.

The sum of two unhappy, insecure people pooling their baggage does not add up to happiness.  It adds up to frustration, disappointment, loneliness, and blame.

Nobody ever tells us that enough.

We can’t “fix” other people.  But we have a duty to heal ourselves, so we can create, and spread, happiness – from the inside out.

What stops us, most times, is our blindness to our own wounds.

They are so blindingly obvious – and so normal to us – that we don’t even know we have them.

Yet they affect every relationship we have.

CLICK HERE to discover more about the 7 wounds and how to heal them.

We cannot know whether Prince William and Catherine Middleton will have a happy life together.

I sincerely hope they do.

But this I do know about happiness, and sharing happiness with a loving partner.

Happiness is like living in the eye of the storm.  It is that quiet, safe space you can enjoy even when frightening events are crashing down around you.

Happiness is only ever in the moment, and of the moment.

In order to be happy, you – and your partner – have to treat the moment with love and respect.

There is no such thing as “The Happily Ever After” only a succession of moments that are yours, and a partner’s, to cherish… or not.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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